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Show highlights include:

  • The ‘Community Container’ strategy for learning faster, growing your community faster, and changing the world faster through the power of your Facebook Group. (4:42)
  • How to demystify the process of writing engaging Facebook posts for the conversation starters that show off your digital personality, connect with members, and give the community exactly what they need. (10:24)
  • Why so many people fail at building authority in their Facebook Groups – and the leadership-worthy moves for owning the information you know (instead of lecturing about it in a ‘copy and paste’ post). (16:20)
  • Why running your Facebook Group like a party in your living room drives human connection, builds authenticity in your style, and enables the lasting change to be a movement (instead of just another page). (18:54)
  • How to successfully nurture and engage with your digital community so that high-ticket items become an ‘easy sell’ (instead of an awkward interaction). (25:15)

You've heard the same advice about Facebook Groups everywhere. Ask questions. Add value. But what does it mean? Let me show you what a profitable, engaged, and FUN Facebook Group looks like. AND I’ll pop the hood for you so you can see exactly how I do it. Join my Facebook group Rock Your Tribe: Community Building for Entrepreneurs at http://www.rockyourtribe.com/facebook

Read Full Transcript

What's up? I'm Rachel Spiewak and this is Rock Your Tribe Radio where community, fun, social media and business collide. I firmly believe that parties are the answer to all of life's problems. Seriously. Building a community, bringing people together for a common purpose and serving them, that's your mission as a business owner. Let's make it happen. It's time to rock your tribe.

(00:28): Welcome to the let's. Talk about building, not just a digital community, but a movement. How do you do it? What does it take? Are you ready to change the world? I'm going to introduce you to my friend and client Amy Fazio, the best nonprofit fundraising consultant in the world. We've been working together for the last two months to build her digital community in the form of a free Facebook group. And it has completely transformed her business in a good way. I talk to you a lot by now, you know, my perspective. So let's hear from Amy, my fellow change-maker, we're going to learn about her business and why she wanted to focus on building a community around it. We're going to find out how her business has transformed through our work together. And we're going to find out the biggest lesson she's learned so far. You know how I go on and on about asking one line engagement questions in your community. We're going to find out just how powerful those questions have been for her and her Facebook group. She's going to tell us about her latest launch, which was massively successful. Thanks to her Facebook group. And she's going to share some behind the scenes insights about working with me. And of course, we're going to talk about building a movement. Are you ready? Here we go. Today. I have with me, Amy Fazio. Thank you for being here, Amy. Hey,

(01:45): Rachel. Great to be here. I have been talking about you on this podcast. I don't know if you know this, but I've been talking about you in the last couple of episodes and I thought, you know what, why don't we just have Amy on the show? So thank you for being here. Yes, you a

(02:03): Lot too. So you know your consultants in the nonprofit space, you help nonprofits fundraise. And I come from the nonprofit world. It's been a while, but everything I'm doing now to build digital community comes from my, on the ground, in the trenches, real life, community organizing and nonprofit management experience, plus DJ,

(02:32): How to throw a good party. But it's all the same thing, bringing people together for a common purpose and getting them to take action, feeling like they belong. Isn't that what it's about? Exactly. That's what all people want is to feel like they belong. So do you want to tell our listeners a little bit about your business and your mission?

(02:53): Absolutely. So I'm Amy Fazio, the creator of the magnify, your mission system. And I work with nonprofit leaders to ramp up their vision, accelerate their path, to creating their big vision, the change they want to see for their communities faster and without the burnout, I love to raise money and I love to get people fired up about raising money, because it's about connecting people with the things they care about.

(03:19): I wish I met you so many years ago, like 15 years ago. So I was a co-founder and then I became the executive director of a nonprofit pay. What you want bicycle repair shop in Atlanta, Georgia. It got started in 2004. And I've told this story on this podcast. It goes all the way back to my friends and I were activists. Nine 11 had happened. The war on terror was about to happen. We were out in the streets in Atlanta, Georgia, and we were just talking about this off the record, but Atlanta is an amazing place to be an activist because you feel like you're really carrying the torch and upholding the legacy of the movements that have happened there. And after a while, you know, we're doing all of this marching and chanting and being anti and trying to stop a thing that let's be honest, we were powerless to stop.

(04:07): So we got to thinking about what can we do? And so we decided to create this bicycle shop, where we could collectively own bike tools and help each other, fix our bikes in the hopes that more people would ride bikes in Atlanta. And we would therefore do something about the traffic and the pollution and help people access their jobs and school and things like that. And that was my entry into the nonprofit world in my early twenties. Of course I, you know, eventually I burned out. So I wish I met you so many years ago,

(04:37): Making things happen. I love that legacy, that, that responsibility of following through with that change making legacy. I'm so proud of you. I think that's amazing in your twenties to say, we're going to connect people. We're bringing people together. Thank you. Back in the day, people would ask me like, what do you wish you knew before you started? And it was really just the youthful arrogance, I think

(05:03): Her naive and pay. Well, just speaking for myself, you know, there, it wasn't just me. It was a cooperative, there are many of us, and there are many brilliant people involved. So it was not just me doing this thing. Personally. The arrogance of youth definitely carried me through a lot of it.

(05:18): I think about all the things that I would never have tried if I had only, no, I wouldn't have gotten out of bed that day. If I knew where the hell I was going to go, that's the beauty of it, right? Is you, you feel a big vision. You see it and you're willing to take the first next

(05:33): Step. That's exactly it. So here we are. All these years later, we found each other, even though I feel like we should have found each other then, but you know, the universe does its thing and we are working together to help you build out your digital community in the form of a Facebook group. But I see this really going beyond the Facebook group, but tell me why is it important to you, right. To build your community around your business?

(06:00): I do think we were drawn together. I do think I found you at exactly the right time because you know, it is about community building. For me, I've been in the nonprofit sector for 25 or probably closer to 30 years, I guess I have to start rounding to that number and in so many different roles, but always growth oriented, always revenue generating and growth oriented, and I've run for office and knocked doors. I have done the grassroots community building, you know, my first job out of college after graduating from a beautiful liberal arts four year degree, I moved to Las Vegas to open an office for the United States public interest research group, which was us perk. I don't know if you know that

(06:41): I did that too right out of college. And I went to Boston. I knocked on doors about like a wind turbine in some like tiny suburb outside of Boston and get this. They told me that I didn't have enough competence to get a job fighting for clean air. That's what I wanted to do. I wanted to fight for clean air and they said, you don't have enough competence. We're going to give you an administrative job. And I said, that's fine. No, thank you. I'm going back to Atlanta now and I'll figure it out. And that's how I wound up starting that bike shop because of the perks telling me I didn't have enough competence.

(07:19): That just meant you weren't willing to knock on 105 doors every night for five nights. I thought that was just some great, you know, it was a short-lived adventure for me. But it was a wild training ground of what was it? A 3% yes. Rate. You had to knock a hundred doors a night to get a 3% yes. Rate to get folks to join your cause, which was ours was Ralph Nader. I don't remember what he was up to at the time. So something I just fell in love with this idea of connecting with people. And I had trained how to do it face to face, and I was good at it and I built a career on it, but you know what, as a CEO of a national trade association, it's really hard to jump on a plane from Florida to San Francisco to Maine to do that.

(08:06): Face-To-Face and the burnout was real and I was driving my family crazy, quite frankly. So, you know, I left that, you know, what ended up feeling like a corporate job, right? It was non-profit, but it was, I was the CEO and very growth oriented associations and started building my business. And I went back to my old ways of pounding the pavement. And it was only when I discovered that for me to scale, I had to be in front of more people. And I started to surround myself with people who could teach me about technology. And then eventually I found myself with you. I found myself I'm on my way to finding you. And you've just opened my eyes to understanding how we can use different platforms and how we can create the container where we can congregate the people power in the convening, right? Power is in the convening. And that's what we know is nonprofit organizers and grassroots organizers. And quite frankly, that's what I teach my clients. If you want to raise a lot of money, figure out who you're connecting out there and be more deliberate about it, that's value added. And so when we can do that for our communities, for our clients, they learn faster, they grow faster and they change the world faster, which gets me pretty fired up.

(09:21): That's exactly the strategy and the ethos behind what I'm doing. I look at running a community as a way to scale my ability to have personal conversations, because it's hard to go knocking on doors. It's so hard and it's hard to be in a physical place. You can only talk to so many people in a certain amount of time, but in the digital space, you can talk to infinite people all at once, but still have those personalized conversations and habit in a way that you can also connect your community members to each other and big and have those personal conversations. And so much comes out of that. That's where the magic is.

(10:02): That's what you're showing me. And you've just interpreted it for me digitally, right? Like I get it when I'm hosting or, you know, I'll have everyone over at my house and we'll be in the kitchen and I get that. But when you really helped me see how to do that effectively, digitally things have just really taken off. And it's, it's, the possibilities are so exciting.

(10:21): That makes me so happy. So how has our work together transformed your business so far? Cause we're like two thirds of the way into our three month consulting project together. So two thirds of the way in, tell me about the transformation so far.

(10:36): So I've been working with coaches for probably two and a half years, not that long. And I've worked with a few different coaches who have helped me. I, you know, I believe all teachers helped you along the way. Right? So, so grateful for the, for the journey. I think what's really been shifting since I've been working with you, is the ability, the time and attention you're putting into getting to understand my market and part of it's because you understand community building. And I think that is a synergy that is just meant to be. And so you're able to dig in and help me see the opportunities so much more quickly and give me that industry, you're looking into the industry, you know, where the opportunities are. You say something and within two weeks opportunities are unfolding for me in that area. And it's because you're dialed in.

(11:21): It's also because you're taking the time to understand the market trends. And I really appreciate that because it's just what I can't see. It's just too close in front of me. An example is I had been posting about some government funding coming through and the United States, a ton of money is moving and we really need to appreciate that. Not everybody in the world is getting stimulus, checks, dumped in their bank accounts, right? And there's an opportunity there for fundraising. You and I brainstorm that on one session and it has opened up a whole floodgate and fact, is it just, I can demystify that whole process for people and you've given me permission to do it. So I'm having more fun than ever making more money than ever and changing more lives than ever. So sign me up.

(12:08): That's amazing. And I'm so glad you said fun because that's so central to my brand. Rock your tribe, drawing from my DJ history and bringing that out because I think that's what gets lost in doing this work is that it should be fun. Fun is what brings us together. And when people are having fun, then they're open to learning. Then they're open to connecting with each other. Then they're open to transformation. But when you come at it from a place of scarcity, lack, being boring, being overly corporate about stuff, people clam up, you know, people don't really want to be lectured, but if you get people talking about what's important to them, this is also non-profits, one-on-one connect with people on their values. And then you can get to the part where you ask them for money

(12:55): That's right. Or you just provide the opportunity and they, it almost becomes a non asking. Right? You, I mean, you teach me that in business. Right. It's putting the offers out there. It's always a yes, because you've done the work of building a relationship. Yeah. I sell like I'm a nonprofit fundraiser.

(13:11): Yeah. It's just one opportunity after another to go deeper in the work. And yeah, it's like, you've just given me the language or just the simplified perspective. You know, some of my previous training went from, you know, you have to write these posts and I'm a development person. I'm a sales person. I like to be in front of people. I learn by talking to people more than reading or researching. And you have taught me the very tactical ways of what I know how to do in person, how to translate that digitally. And so my digital connecting has skyrocketed and what I'm able to share with my clients as a result has really shifted. And my client work has gone deeper. So not only growing my business, but how I'm able to help them all because of you, Rachel

(14:00): Rocking a digital community, that's the future of marketing. Do you want to get ahead of the curve? Let me show you how to use real life, community building strategies to grow your brand, your authority, and your army of marketers. Head over to rock your tribe.com to send me a message. Let's get this party started. This is amazing

(14:20): Period of time, realistically months. I mean, I feel like our, our universes have collided for a long time, but you have just been able to dig in really quickly. We're going to change the world girl. Yeah, definitely.

(14:30): We are changing the world. Okay. You posted a resource like a PDF or an article about the government funding. And this is what I do when I work with people. And this is why I love to do the one-to-one consulting, where you, the business owner or community manager for your brand, your running your community, and I'm looking over your shoulder so I can come in and make some suggestions. And I like to watch things in real time and react in real time. So I saw you share this resource, which was amazing, but I know from doing this work that people don't really read reshared articles, and this is kind of true across social media because reshared articles really don't get that, that organic reach just from a tactical social media perspective. And you're also giving your authority away to somebody else when people are coming to you, they're in your community because you're the person who's going to explain stuff to them.

(15:26): And so I pointed out that people need this information. They're not going to consume it this way. How can we pull out conversations, starting one-liner questions, turn those into your engagement posts, start a conversation, then find out, you know, what do people really need in order to be ready for this funding? And then how can you meet them there? And then you asked a question, somebody said, thank you for asking one of those engagement questions and so on this podcast and in my Facebook group and everywhere I go, I'm always telling everybody every day, if you do one thing in your community, ask a question and it's not just for engagement only, it's really to open up a conversation. And so when that person says, thank you for asking this question that like the fireworks in my head went off. So can you say a little bit more about that instance

(16:20): I can in general, that piece of advice or that guidance you've given me in how to powerfully ask questions? I've known that I've never trusted myself to move in that direction. I oh, I was thinking I need the long-winded authority. You know, what I thought was authority building. So just that skill. And when somebody said that was a great question, it really revealed to me that by asking a question that strategic and smart allowing folks to answer and connect with one another demonstrates my authority and it also builds their confidence. It does it in a way that makes them, it reminds them. They have the answers inside of them. Our job is coaches and consultants is to facilitate the process of the discovery of that. And then the decision-making that goes with, along with it. So that question process, and when I saw the response around, thank you for asking this question, it really revealed to me, it just gave them permission to think through what they already knew.

(17:20): And you could see that person's confidence build as the post, you know, as the dialogue continued and that it's in that thread. And that was a game-changing moment for how I knew moving forward. I wanted to connect with my community and promote my community, connecting with one another, the government funding thing. I have to really laugh because I just think it was the way that you showed me the example of how I could work with that article. I share differently. I have a master's degree in political. I teach classes in political ideology. So how our values drive our behaviors. I teach a class in civic engagement and you simply just said, Hey, I have an idea. Why don't you talk more about this expertise you have here in this area, and really have an honest and quality conversation instead of sharing articles from other people, you know, it's, you've digested that information over 30 years, own a girl and you were right and I'm learning how to do it.

(18:19): It's evolving. And it's the, engagement's just so fun. I can't even tell you the stress dial down from, oh my God, I have to write something and post something and say something brilliant. I definitely can't look stupid out there to wonder what my tribe's up to today. What do I want to ask and thrown it together based on what I saw on the news or what I talked to my client about, or it's just so much more organic and authentic and the vibe and the group is just growing. So I love it.

(18:49): That's amazing. So what's the biggest lesson you've learned so far in our work together. If we haven't covered it already, just reframe it. Don't take yourself so seriously. And you know, when in doubt, pretend you're throwing a party in your living room and, and use some basic social skills to build your business. You know, don't overthink the construction. You have to have show authentically and in your own style. And that's been a huge difference for me as far as being able to put myself out there and calling in more aligned people. So yeah, I think not take myself so seriously has been a big game changer for me in business.

(19:30): That's one of my core, what do I call it? That's what, I'm one of the core principles of what I teach. You know, just, if you relax, just relax, chill out, man. It's going to be okay. People want to work with you. And I think, you know, we have to remember it's social media, it's social, right? And it's powerful. It's so powerful for brands for this reason. And I think it's so important. Even if you got a large famous brand, you're still you, the person and your tribe wants to connect with you. The human being, I think this whole year of dealing with Corona virus in quarantine and everything has really pushed that out to the forefront. People want that human connection and we can achieve that digitally through social media. And it's great for business. Yeah. I

(20:20): Would add two other things that I learned in new and different ways working with you is one is we're in the business of building a movement, which is very much aligned with the nonprofit sector. And it's helped me speak to my clients differently. The reason I always suggest you need a big, powerful base of individual donors, even though that's not going to be the cash cow is because it demonstrates your public support. It's your evidence that you're building a movement. And the way that you talk building digital community is the same concept. It's about building a movement. It's not just about you and your community. It's about that big change that collectively the group is going to make. And you said something to me just the other day. I mean, it's, every time we talk, it's like, okay, but it was, you build it for it to be meaningful to the group.

(21:09): That's there to your active community. What becomes of that is something you have to let go of and trust that it will leverage the right people at the right time with the right opportunities. So that goes back to not taking myself so seriously in business, doing good work, being present and being honest and organic and the opportunities come. And you just reminded me of that at a different level. And it's, it has been a big relief. It's really been just a different energy to my business. You speak a language where I can just take things deeper, a lot faster. So that that's just been really wild.

(21:48): Yeah, that's great. And it comes from my experience with the bike shop, where everything was the suggested $5 donation, time, bike, parts, tools, whatever, whatever you need suggested $5 donation nobody's turned away for lack of funds. You could trade your time. We took in kind donations. We'll just make it work. And people who had more cash to give, they gave and people who didn't, that was fine. And we self-generated most of our budget for years until we started to attract grants. And eventually we did get one $80,000 anonymous grant. And so that's how I'm running. That's how I think about digital community too. Of course, we're going to sell to our community. Yeah. They're red hot leads. It's a sales funnel, all of that good stuff, but we're also building an army of marketers. We're also building our source of referrals and we're also building our platform where we can invite speakers in so we can get invitations to go speak in other places.

(22:48): And then we can leverage our community for bigger opportunities, which is how I can go from the internet coach world to the B2B space. I can say, look, this is my Facebook group. My digital community is also my portfolio. Yes, but it also contains lots of incredible people who are connecting me with other business owners and brands out there. It is a wealth of social proof, right? So I have an episode on an earlier episode, about seven ways to monetize your Facebook group. And that was sort of an early iteration of what we're talking about now, thinking about your Facebook group or your digital community, there's all these different ways to monetize it. And certain ways are direct cash transactions, but not all of it comes through leveraging your community. I'm building relationships

(23:41): Yeah. And make it meaningful. And and the opportunities do come. And you, and you don't, you won't know where they're going to come from next. The you know, how often do you hear your clients? I imagine quite often say, I just said this to you today came out of nowhere. I had a client come out of nowhere, right? It's not out of nowhere. It's building a high energy, good vibe place where people are getting value and meeting other amazing people. And when the time is right and they have the, the right time for them, or for referral, it just ends up making sense. It's also that easy sale, right? Where you're not beating your head against the wall. You're not justifying yourself. We do this a lot in the non-profits. We explain ourselves away, we justify our existence. We're, it's almost like we feel bad asking for money or existing. And instead it's, we have this great opportunity for the right person. And that's cool if you're not the right person, we're glad you're here. And speaking

(24:35): Of easy sales, you were like one of my easiest sales. I love that conversation. We have, oh, it was great. I'll say this based on the amount of attention and effort and I mean, it comes easy to you. I know, but for me it feels like it's a hundred percent personalized and customized. I believe that like, it's a tribe you take good care of. So I'm just pleased to be part of it. And I'm glad I jumped on early.

(24:59): Thank you. I mean, it's been a dream having you in as it's amazing. Okay. Back to the questions, what else we got? Oh, your most recent launch, your very successful, most recent launch. Tell us about that and how your Facebook group might've played into that.

(25:19): So I didn't have a Facebook group at all before we connected earlier this year. And because I was like, oh my God, one more thing. I can't even do it. I didn't understand that it was really the contained the powerful container. It could be, not that it's the end all be all, but it's where you can congregate people in a powerful way. So yeah, I think that I ended up announcing my five day launch. I had been, my group is about 250 people. So it was a small group. I had just done a five day challenge. So the people I enrolled through my group, it was a very small group of people and the whole challenge. And so I have to admit, I thought, oh my goodness, this could really bomb. This could be one of those really business like, oh my God. And it turned out that the, the engagement was proportionately right on target, but still small because the whole group was small and I had more sales than ever.

(26:15): And it's because I know it's because I was cultivating them in the Facebook group prior to, they could return to the Facebook group to get more engagement during the experience. It was a validator of what I had to offer. And I think that's why the sales came easy and out of nowhere and a high ticket dollar. And it's why I knocked it out of the park. I have no doubt it was connected to running that group and nurturing that group of supporters. Yeah. I'm meeting some amazing people. I mean, I have the best job in the world. I got to say, working with people, curing rare diseases that killed children, working with autism groups that are going to make cities autism friendly so that businesses are certified as, and this is a brilliant idea, right? Certifying whole neighborhoods and communities that if you were to shop or go to the restaurant, they would be welcoming social justice organizations out of New York city fighting for Jewish American traditions. It's I just started working with somebody today who is looking to render a foster care obsolete. I mean, these are not small goals. These are not, we're going to keep ourselves busy on a scale. They're directly connecting the work they're doing on the ground to this big values change they want to see in the world. And if I can be a part of it and help accelerate it even a little bit, I am a lucky girl

(27:37): That hit a whole lot of buttons for me, but the autism friendly city, especially because my little one he's on the spectrum. And it's really the environment that is disabling. It's not the person that is disabled. It's the environment that is disabling, but that's a whole other conversation. And what I wanted to ask you, what is it like working with

(27:58): Me? I feel like it's a partnership. And I feel like you are able to be honest with me and it's customized in the sense that you read people well enough to know how to approach them. You know, what to focus on based on their strengths and that trust is there. So I'm able to hear it and listen and execute very quickly. And I think that's how it says a lot about your approach and your integrity. So that's the thing I would say, working with you.

(28:27): Thank you. That means a lot to me. Yeah. So let's start wrapping this up. If you could share one torpedo wisdom with our listeners, from our work together, what would you share with them?

(28:45): It's to show up authentically. So use the devices, use the technology and the tools that make sense for today, but may, you know, find a way to keep your brand solid and grounded into its roots. So that even with different tools, because the tools are always going to change, right? The trends are always going to change, but we know digital community building is here to stay. So really rooting down into how you keep your voice authentic and organic while you're playing with these tools and, and uncomfortably learning about new things.

(29:20): And where can people find you? You can check out my Facebook group at big hearted badass non-profit society, or my website magnify your mission.com. Amazing Amy Fazio. Thank you so much for being here and thank you for rocking with me. And I love the work that we've done and where it's going. And I can't wait to see what happens next. And when all is said and done, although I don't think our work together will really be done. We'll have to come back and talk about more results. But until then, thank you. And thank you to everybody for being here, along for the ridThis is ThePodcastFactory.com.e on this podcast, Rocky, to try radio and as always you rock,

(30:08): This is the podcast factory.com.

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